Born: 1800 Connecticut
Sanford was living in New York in 1835 when he purchased federal land in Sangamon County, Illinois. By 1837, he had settled in Springfield, where he was engaged in commerce. Through 1838 and 1839, Sanford superintended the construction of a section of the Northern Cross Railroad, a contract awarded to his partnership Vaughn, Sanford & Company. By the end of 1839, he had entered into a new partnership with Charles B. Francis in a wholesale and retail dry-good and grocery business; Francis & Sanford operated on the west side of Springfield's public square until 1844. In 1841, he and two other men purchased a mill at Sangamo Town, which eventually milled lumber and carded wool in addition to grinding flour. In 1842, he married Emaline Matton and they settled in Petersburg. In 1845, Sanford sold his Springfield mill to William P. Grimsley. By 1850, Sanford owned real estate worth $1,300. In 1853, he sold his Petersburg mill to Asa D. Wright.
The History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1879), 294; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Sangamon County, 68:219, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Sixth Census of the United States (1840), Sangamon County, IL, 2; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 6 May 1837, 1:2, 5 May 1838, 2:7, 19 July 1839, 4:3, 27 December 1839, 3:5, 30 April 1841, 2:5, 13 August 1841, 1:2, 3, 1 February 1844, 1:1, 27 February 1845, 3:7; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 23 November 1842, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Menard County, IL, 269.